The following article appeared in the NewsLetter yesterday (6 February):
Dublin armed IRA, says MEP
A Northern Ireland MEP has told a European Parliament discussion on the arms trade that the Irish state armed the IRA.
DUP MEP Diane Dodds was speaking the day after her party leader Peter Robinson called on the Irish government to face up to its “hidden history” in what the DUP said was “founding and arming the Provisional IRA”.
Mrs Dodds was responding to the Arms Trade Treaty voted upon by the European Parliament yesterday, which seeks to regulate the trade in weapons.
In her official statement she said: “Mr President, it is right that this Parliament is today debating the proposed Arms Trade Treaty, which has as part of its scope the aim of eradicating illicit trade in weapons. However, for many living in my own constituency, Northern Ireland, this discussion and this treaty will serve to remind innocent victims of the role played by the Irish government in founding and arming terrorists of the Provisional IRA.
“The First Minister of Northern Ireland recently called on the Irish government to face up to its “hidden history”.
“I repeat that call and it is time that government opened files relating to the arms trial of 1970 for public scrutiny.” Dublin wished “to draw a blind” over certain issues, she added.
It is right that when the EU is discussing the arms trade, an Ulster MEP should remind the nations of Europe that one of their member states, the Irish Republic, had a central role in forming and arming the most violent terrorist organisation to emerge in Europe in the past fifty years, the Provisional IRA.
The Irish Republic and especially Fianna Fail must be confronted with that truth, again and again, until they acknowledge that fact, apologise for what they did and open up the files that relate to the birth and the arming of the Provisional IRA.